FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The health department in Flagler County is going straight into the community to give out vaccinations. This week it started holding clinics in restaurants and giving the shots to staff and neighbors.
Health officials said when restaurant owners approached them saying they were having a hard time hiring people and keeping staff, they looked at this as their opportunity to work directly with community members.
On Wednesday, they set up shop in The Anchor restaurant on State Road A1A in Flagler Beach.
“This week we’re doing two restaurants and next week we’re doing at least one if not two more,” said Gretchen Smith, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health in Flagler County.
Smith said the restaurant locations make it easy for people to pop in while being out on the town.
“There are a lot of people that are on the fence right now and we think an important part of that is making it more convenient for them to get vaccinated,” she said.
People like Peter McKay and his wife who were just walking by stopped in.
“I’ve been wanting to get it. We’ve been waiting. I couldn’t get online because I’m not technical adaptable to that,” he said.
Restaurant owners like Sheryl Knopf of The Anchor said they would open their doors earlier in the day to make it happen.
“We actually offered to give everyone who came for a vaccine a 15% off coupon for their food,” she said.
Knopf said it gives peace of mind, too, to their staff. Like many restaurant owners, she said it’s been difficult finding people to work.
“We have struggled. It was rough for a little while. By the grace of God we found some great additions to the team.” she said.